Zenith Report: Online Video Ad Spend To Be Worth A Third Of The TV Ad Market In 2021

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The average person will spend 100 minutes each day watching online video in 2021, up from 84 minutes this year, according to Zenith’s Online Video Forecasts 2019 report, published today.

That’s the equivalent of watching 25 continuous days of video in 2021.

The amount of time people spend viewing online video has grown rapidly across the world, at an average rate of 32 per cent a year between 2013 and 2018, boosted by improvements in display sizes and quality of mobile devices, faster mobile data connections, and the spread of connected TV sets.

China and Sweden have the keenest online video viewers, with the average person in each country expected to spend 103 minutes a day watching online video this year.

These are the only countries where online video viewing exceeds 100 minutes a day, but by 2021, Zenith expects Canada, India, Mexico, the UK and the USA to join the list.

“The consumption of online video is growing rapidly, and the average person will spend half as much time viewing online video as they spend viewing conventional television this year,” said Jonathan Barnard, head of forecasting at Zenith.

“This fast-expanding supply of audiences is fuelling rapid growth in demand from advertisers, making online video the fastest-growing digital channel by advertising expenditure.”

In Australia, more people across all demographics are consuming video, approximately 25hrs 40mins per month, with the trend expected to continue well into 2021. As of June 2019, there has been a 5 per cent year-on-year increase of people aged 18+ streaming video.

However, Zenith Melbourne’s head of digital, Joshua Lee, says “while it’s not surprising that younger age groups are spending more hours watching video – up to 48 hours a month – what’s more significant is the increased uptake from Australians aged 65+, which has grown 18 per cent since last year, demonstrating that video consumption is healthy across all demographics”.

This year has also seen the average number of screens people are using to view online video increase from 6.3 to 6.6 (Q3 2016 vs. Q3 2018), creating more viewing experiences both at home and on-the-go.

Lee said: “The majority of Australians across all demographics prefer watching short-form video on mobile, which resonates strongly among younger audiences aged 18-24 and 25-34. YouTube is a prime example where 76 per cent most of its viewing time occurs on smartphones and tablets.

“Conversely, for longer-form content the TV screen is still essential, with 8.1 million Australians accessing internet content via a TV screen, and half of connected TV (CTV) viewers mostly or always watch with someone else. As a result, CTV remains a big focus and point of differentiation for publishers and content creators.”

Meanwhile, new research from Roy Morgan reveals that almost 14 million Australians aged 14+ have subscribed to a paid service, up 7.9 per cent from last year.

Cross-device usage and on-demand consumption have been prominent drivers of online video growth, but Lee says with increased content sources and subscription services, consumers will base their decision-making around content quality, competitive pricing and value.

“With the imminent arrival of Disney+ and Apple TV+, there’s been much market speculation around their potential impact on Netflix and Stan’s user base, which until now have shown year-on-year growth of 17.6 per cent and 43.2 per cent respectively.

” From a broadcast video on-demand (BVOD) perspective, time spent has dramatically increased by 76 per cent year-on-year. So we’re seeing a continued positive trend and opportunity for advertisers seeking out premium environments to reach their audience and align their brand with,” Lee said.

Online video adspend will be worth a third of the TV ad market in 2021

In Australia, advertising expenditure on online video rose 26.2 per cent to reach $1.4bn in 2018 (8 per cent of the total ad market)with spend projected to continue growing at a rate of 24 per cent each year to nearly $3.2bn in 2022. CTV will be key to this growth, with 23 per cent of video inventory currently being sold by content publishers viewed through a CTV.

Apart from reach and time spent, another key driver of video ad spend will come from an improvement in media quality performance. Lee says today, video ads remain the most viewable format across devices, reaching an overall 73.4 per cent viewability on desktops and 63.9 per cent on the mobile web, ultimately raising advertiser and buyer confidence.

Lee added: “In terms of ad formats, publishers and advertisers are showing continued efforts to improve creative resonance on mobile. This is apparent in the proliferation of 6-second ads, vertical ads and stories complemented by short-form creative best practices to capture attention early and deliver longer lasting brand impact.

“While video has traditionally been used for upper funnel and brand awareness, advertisers are also turning to video to drive purchase intent. The concept of brand commerce comes to mind when we consider the popularity of shoppable video ad formats and buy-now, call-to-action overlays.

“Overall, video has a very bright future and one that can only further excel when cross-media measurement becomes available via OzTAM’s VOZ solution. This development is the market’s next biggest opportunity to help determine the incremental reach from viewing on connected devices and optimise spend across all channels, markets, platforms and devices.”

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